I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sad News from Uman: Breslover Murdered

As Jews are celebrating the festival of Sukkot (tabernacles) I learnt from another Hebrew Catholic, on the Hebrew Catholic discussion board run by the Association of Hebrew Catholics, the sad news of the murder of Shmuel Menachem Tobol- a young 19 year old Breslover Chasid. He was murdered by Ukrainian thugs in Uman on the 200th anniversary of the death of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov. As a descendant of Rebbe Nachman and a devotee of his teachings from a Hebrew Catholic perspective it has really hit me. I have for many years desired to visit the grave of Rebbe Nachman. Rebbe Nachman made a special promise to those who visited his grave to seek his intercession with God. He said that he would pull them out of even the deepest parts of Purgatory after their death. Some media reports are using this to attack religious faith by inferring that Rebbe Nachman promised physical safety to those who visited his grave. This was not so. It was his intercession that was promised. Breslover history has been filled with persecutions and attacks on those who visited the grave even by other Hasidim. Thus the Rebbe's promise was not to make our physical lives without suffering but to aid us in the midst of our sufferings whether in this life or the next.

Shmuel was recently engaged and he flew from Israel to Ukraine with his brother for the 200th anniversary of the death of Rebbe Nachman. His brother was also injured in the incident in which the thugs stoned the Jews and their car and then stabbed Shmuel. We pray the psalms for the soul of young Shmuel in union with the whole Breslov and Jewish communities. Breslov is one of the fastest growing Chasidic Jewish communities who are very fexible in the areas of custom and dress- ranging from those who dress like strict Chasidim to those who dress modern. The Breslovers are probably best known from the Israeli movie "Ushpizin" where a Breslov couple entertain some difficult guests for Sukkot. Breslovers are also known for dancing atop vans and in the streets. They are a people of joy who believe one should do the daily holy hour called hitbodedut where one talks to God in their mother tongue from the heart. They are often known as the Chasidim of the Heart in contrast to the Chabad who are known as Chasidim of the Head.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov who had red-blonde hair

One of my fond memories of living in Israel is going to the Tomb of King David (which is under the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion) late at night where many Chasidim do all night prayer vigils. There I met a young Breslov Chasid who was spending the night in heart-felt prayer and I sat down and we talked for a couple of hours about the meaning of life. He was so kind, warm and friendly to me- I felt the love and youthful holiness of this follower of Rebbe Nachman radiating out to all. Now another young Chasid has been martyred and I know he is resting in the arms of his Rebbe in the Heavenly Garden of Eden where they learn Torah from the mouth of the Hidden Mashiach ben Yosef himself.


Anonymous said...

Amein. "we talked about the meaning of life..." That's ultimately what it's all about. If we can just learn the respect of our brothers and of the earth of which we are all a part of...we could find that place where we discover our intended place, our meaning of life. May G-d rest his soul and may this dear brother pray for all of us still on this path.

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Crosshairball said...

Very sad indeed. Stoning and stabbing. Sounds like perhaps these could very well have been Muslim thugs?